The world has produced countless coins, trading cards, comics and stamps. Most aren’t worth more than their constituent metal or paper, but enough of them are valuable or at least interesting enough for hobbyists and investors all over the world to collect and protect them.
For most, it remains exactly that — a hobby. But the finest specimens from the most carefully curated and best-preserved collections are worth millions.
1962 Amazing Fantasy No. 15
- $3.6 million
Action Comics No. 1 introduced Superman and launched the superhero comic industry. For years, it was to comic books what the Honus Wagner T206 was to baseball cards — it owned the title of the world’s most expensive, only to break its previous record every few years.
Then, Amazing Fantasy No. 15 came along.
Published in 1962 as the first Spider-Man comic and the final issue of Amazing Fantasy, it sold for $3.6 million in 2021, knocking Action Comics No. 1 off its $3.25 million perch.
It was one of only four known copies graded CGC 9.6. There are no known higher-graded examples.
1939 Superman No. 1
- $5.3 million
Just one year after Spider-Man took his crown, Superman reclaimed it — but this time with 1939’s Superman No. 1 from DC Comics, the first comic book ever devoted to a single character.
Graded 8.0 Universal by Certified Guaranty Company, it traded hands for $5.3 million in a private sale in 2022, crushing the previous record.
2009 Stephen Curry 1-of-1 Rookie Card
- $5.9 million
Warriors great Steph Curry’s records are not limited to his performance on the court.
In 2021, alternative asset company Alt Funds purchased a special one-off autographed rookie-year trading card of history’s greatest shooter for $5.9 million.
Curry toppled the previous record held by a $5.2 million LeBron James card. Alt owns that one, too, as part of its $50 million, 10,000-card vaulted collection.
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1909-11 Honus Wagner T206
- $7.25 million
The most storied and prestigious baseball card in history, the Wagner T206 had a limited initial circulation of between 25 and 200. The few remaining examples have spent decades among the world’s most coveted cards, even when they’re far from mint condition.
A Pirates great from the turn of the 20th century, Wagner was among the first five players ever inducted into the Hall of Fame. Distributed by the American Tobacco Company, Wagner refused to allow the production of his card, either because he wanted more money or didn’t want to market cigarettes to kids — the latter version of the story has endured through the ages.
In 2021, a copy sold for a record $6.6 million, only to set a new record of $7.25 million just one year later.
1787 Brasher Doubloon
- $9.36 million
Part of the first issue of privately minted gold coins in America, the $15 Brasher Doubloon debuted in 1787 to rival the roughly equal-value Spanish Doubloon.
An example graded Mint State 65 became the country’s most expensive gold coin and the second most expensive coin of any composition when it sold for $9.36 million in 2021. The finest specimen of only seven known remaining examples, it clearly features New York silversmith Ephraim Brasher’s stamped initials.
1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta Stamp
- $9.48 million
Just a single copy of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta stamp series is known to exist. A holdover from the British colonial era in what is now Guyana in South America, it entered limited production in 1856 and has been among the world’s rarest and most coveted stamps for decades.
After breaking the price record four times, Sotheby’s auctioned it off for $8.31 million in 2021, which was actually less than a previous buyer had paid. After being held privately for nearly 30 years, it sold for $9.48 million in 2014 after the public got to see it for the first time since 1986.
1847 Mauritius ‘Post Office’ Stamps
- $9.6 million
Another one of the world’s great stamps also traces its lineage to the British colonial period, this time to Mauritius off the coast of Madagascar. Originally printed in 1847, the first Mauritius series contained 1,000 one-cent stamps, 500 each in blue and red.
The printed phrase “Post Office,” was changed to “Post Paid” in subsequent editions.
There are 27 known copies of the original 1,000, and the best among them were commanding more than $1 million as early as the 1970s. An original “Post Office” Mauritius took the title of the world’s most valuable stamp after selling for $9.6 million in 2021.
1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar
- $12 million
The four factors that give coins their value are age, rarity, historical significance, and condition — and what is believed to be the first silver dollar ever struck by the United States government has all four in spades.
A “specimen” condition Flowing Hair silver dollar, one of only about 140 remaining examples from the original 1794 series, became the first coin to break the $10 million mark in 2013 before selling for $12 million in 2022.
Because of its significance as the first in the country’s inaugural series of silver dollars, it’s almost certain that it was viewed and possibly handled by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who oversaw the fledgling U.S. Mint, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and President George Washington.
1952 Topps Mickey Mantle 311
- $12.6 million
In August 2022, the most pristine surviving example of an iconic 1952 Mickey Mantle card toppled the longstanding king — Honus Wagner — with a sale price that put the T206 to shame.
A Mantle No. 311 graded Mint+ 9.5 commanded an eye-popping $12.6 million the very same month that Wagner’s card broke its own record at $7.25 million.
Mantle 311 remains the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold across all categories.
1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle
- $18.9 million
To maintain America’s gold supply during the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt ordered nearly all people and businesses to sell their gold coins and bullion to the U.S. government in 1933 so it could melt them down and hoard them.
That same year, a Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle — one of the last gold coins ever struck for circulation in America — somehow survived the fate of the rest.
In 2021, it became the queen of all coins and collectibles, in general, when it sold for nearly $19 million. It remains the only Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle that is legal to own — if you can afford it.
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